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Home Networking Sharing your Internet Connection - Step by Step instructions using Crossover, Routers, Hubs

Updated on July 2, 2009
how do you do
how do you do

Sharing your internet connection is becoming easier to do as most operating systems have very good inbuilt networking software and most networking hardware devices will also come with there own software to help you get up and going quickly.

But sometimes its not so simply so I will go through some of the basic ways to share your internet connection. There are many different ways to share your internet connection including via hubs, switches and routers and of course with wires and wirelessly. 

Sharing Internet Over 2 PC's

The most common way to share an internet connection over 2 Computers is by using a computer with a dial up connection , commonly adsl and connecting the two computers together using a crossover cable. Just so you know a crossover cable is not the same as a regular CAT5 networking cable it may look to the same but its wired up slightly differently inside.

Now this method is extremely dated but its very good for those on a budget and don't plan on getting anymore than 2 computers and its relatively easy to set up. 

You will need the following things on your Host pc (pc with internet connection) and Client PC (the one we want to give the internet to)

Crossover Cable (5m - 60m long) You can also make you own crossover cables from regular network cables by rearranging the wires you will also need a wire cutter and a spare rj45 socket and cable clamp.

Host PC                                        Client PC

2x network interface card          1 x network card

1 to dialup to your ISP (internet service provider the other to connect the two pc's together via the crossover cable.) First thing I suggest you do before setting up your two computers is to ensure they are on the same workgroup this way the two computers will be able to communicate and find each other easier , it will also make sharing files/folders a lot easier in the future.

Setting it Up

The first thing to do is, on the computer that already has an internet connection do the following

On the host computer, follow these steps to share the Internet connection:
1. Log on to the host computer as Administrator or as Owner.
2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click Network and Internet Connections.
4. Click Network Connections.
5. Right-click the connection that you use to connect to the Internet. For example, if you connect to the Internet by using a modem, right-click the connection that you want under Dial-up.
6. Click Properties.
7. Click the Advanced tab.
8. Under Internet Connection Sharing, select the Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection check box.
9. If you are sharing a dial-up Internet connection, select the Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet check box if you want to permit your computer to automatically connect to the Internet.
10. Click OK. You receive the following message:
11. When Internet Connection Sharing is enabled, your LAN adapter will be set to use IP
address Your computer may lose connectivity with other computers on your network. If these other computers have static IP addresses, it is a good idea to set them
to obtain their IP addresses automatically. Are you sure you want to enable Internet Connection Sharing?
12. Click Yes.

It is important when selecting which connection to share your INTERNET across to choose the correct network interface , in this case it was our LAN network interface. Once the client computer is setup is may be necessary to disconnect and reconnect the ADSL connection to allow the client PC to get a internet connection. 

Client Computer

1. Log on to the client computer as Administrator or as Owner.2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
3. Click Network and Internet Connections.
4. Click Network Connections.
5. Right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
6. Click the General tab, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in the This connection uses the following items list, and then click Properties.
7. In the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box, click Obtain an IP address
automatically (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.

Remember the client pc might take a while to be able to have internet connectivity you may even have to disconnect from your ISP internet connection and reconnect or restart your client pc.

If for some reason the above steps did not work windows has an inbuilt network setup wizard which can help to fix up any loose ends to run the setup wizards simply do the following

Open up internet explorer (can also be done in different browsers instructions will change slightly)

1.) Goto Tools then select Internet Options

2.) Now select the connections TAB

3.) Click Setup and follow the prompts to setup your network.

It can also be found simply by going to My Network Places , and on the left hand side click " Set up a home or small office network" There is also an option to setup a wireless network 

Sharing to more than 2 PC's

Its very simply to turn the above method for sharing your internet connection over a crossover cable into a network solution that can share your internet to many more PC's. The number of pc's you can share to will depend on the number of ports on your Hub or Switch.

For this method we scrap the crossover cable or turn it back into a regular network cable as the switch and hub.

This time do the same things for the client and host pc but this on the host PC, one network cable will be used to connect to the ISP and the other will connect into the switch or hub. This way anyone who connects into the Hub/Switch will have access to the internet. 

Using Router to Share Internet Connection

So the router is a great networking device and it makes networking and internet sharing very easy. Now you no longer need that annoying modem as its all inbuilt into the router , and routers also have those network ports just like the switch and hub.

So all you need to do to get the internet running with a router and share it to all other computers connected is setup your ISP (internet service provider) settings within the router, usually there is a setup wizard but if for some reason you cannot access the wizard you can log directly onto the router once you know the address.

The routers network address is usually and from here you simply enter your username and password and configure your router accordingly. If you cannot access your router with the above address enter command prompt and do the following

Start bar -> Run -> write "cmd" press enter

type "Arp -a" it will give you a list of network devices or computers and you can single out the router's IP address that way.

to logon go to your favourite browser and type or replace with router ip address 

Wireless Internet

Most routers today support wireless internet and this means you can connect your laptops , PDAs and other WI-FI supported devices to your network.

Wireless Security

Many people are too careless when it comes to wireless internet security, there are so many people out there who have not changed there wireless router's default password which means someone can park outside your house and use your internet for free or even steal your information.

A popular security for wireless is a simple WEP key but this not always sufficient and can be easily hacked by a semi-professional computer user so beware. Go for a security setting above a basic WEP key and you should be ok, and if you prefer to just use WEP remember to change your default passwords as its so easy to come by with a network packet sniffer and steal information. Stay secure:)

Let me know if you have any questions will be happy to help you out:)

This diagram shows a modem going into a router , this is one possible configuration but most modern routers have inbuilt routers removing the need for a separate modem
This diagram shows a modem going into a router , this is one possible configuration but most modern routers have inbuilt routers removing the need for a separate modem


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hi, i have beam broad band connection with 1 mbps download speed. Now i want to share this with two more pc's to get the internet in those pc's(Like small office with 3 desktops)Please help me to find the solution- Prasad

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i want to share 2 3G dialup connections....

      over 2 LAN adapters....

      irfrastructer what i want is...

      dial-up connection 1 to be routed/shared on LAN adapter 1

      dial-up connection 2 to be routed/shared on LAN adapter 2

      any help ......

      email :


    • profile image 

      8 years ago from bear, de, 19701

      Thanks, I did it. Can you post article on setting client server and file server network? I am waiting for your next hub.

    • save my system profile image

      save my system 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      Yes, it works but you have to fulfill certain requirements for the same. You need two NIC cards as well you have to run both the PC's on same OS. Very well written hub. Thanks for sharing this info with us.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Land Downunder

      has your desktop got a wireless card? or are you directly connecting to the back of it using a cat5 cable

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have just purchased a wireless router. My problem is now my desk top will no longer connect onto the Internet.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      I've heard of people doing things like this but I dunno if it works that well, you could either connect the router to another cheaper router just to extend the range or look into routers with extended range.

    • iskra1916 profile image


      9 years ago from Belfast, Ireland.

      Excellent hub !

      Could an ordinary usb lead act as a longer range wireless signal reciever/arial ? :-)

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      Hmm strange indeed, Vista can be a huge pain when it comes to sharing though it likes to reset its network settings a lot and cause a lot of frustration

      on your vista machine go to your network sharing center

      Network type (Private)

      Network discovery (on)

      File sharing (on)

      Public folder sharing (on)

      Printer sharing (your choice)

      Media sharing (your choice.)

      check all those options , then reboot your PC and check if its working. Also check who you give permissions to just sharing it doesn't usually indicate who has permission make sure to give everyone , read, write privileges

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      One of the PC's is running Vista while the other is on Windows XP Pro SP3. The folders that are shared do NOT display in "My network places," and NO, I can't access through the domain or the Computer name.

      Thank you for any help you have offered so far, it is greatly appreciated. :)

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      What operating system have you got installed on the computers? have you shared folders and tried to view them through my network places?

      if they don't show can you go to a computer directly using \\computername or search through the domain for the computer name?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I AM able to ping the other computer, workgroup name is the same. Any idea how to fix this? I would GREATLY appreciate it.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      well johnnyfr , it all depends what kind of printer and does it have an ethernet port or wireless capabilities. If so this makes it a lot easier just plug it into your router or some of the new ones work much like an access point.

      Usually the printer will have to be connected to a PC on the network which kind of defeats the purpose if you only have one PC.

      if you have another PC on the network with a printer you want to print from just make sure its on the same workgroup as you and then right click on the printer in printer properties to share it over the network, give it a network name etc..

    • johnnyfr profile image


      9 years ago from Ormskirk, Lancashire

      Nice hub!

      Is it a similar set up to share a printer? I already have a laptop wirelessly connected to the internet but I'd love to be able to print from it. Any ideas?

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      Hi Branden, hmm that's strange first thing you wanna check is that your using the right cables :P i assume you are or were as u had it working.

      are both computers on the same workgroup?

      can you ping each other?

      most likely the workgroup or domain problem

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      After having a hub set up for some time now, with 2 computers connected, the hub, for some reason or another, will not show network places (I can no longer access files on other computers connected to the hub). It seems I've tried everything and the only thing that has made it work was replacing the hub with my friends wireless router temporarily.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Very informative hub. Of course, I don't understand most of the information, but then you are the tech expert.

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      First thing to make sure is whichever computer is directly connected to the internet , needs two network cards in it. So one to your cable/adsl modem and the other network cable to the switch so you can share the internet connectivity.

      then follow from the heading "Setting it up" and go through that on the computer that has the internet and all other 7/8 client computers that would like to use the shared internet.

      let me know if you need more help . I tried to keep this hub as simple as possible its just basic instructions to follow, goodluck

    • profile image

      ashoksingh rajput 

      9 years ago

      please tell me how can I make a 8 computer LAN using a Switch .please tell me in simple language and witch hardware and s/w are required and also tell me how do their  settings. Please tell me step by step as simple as possible. 

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Land Downunder

      Sure first thing you wanna do is goto "My network Places" & then click on view network connections on the left hand side. Right click your local connect that you are using to connec to your wireless router and click properties.

      Scroll down until you see TCP/IP then click properties , then tell me what's happening there, most of the time its easier just to use "obtain an IP addres automatically" and Obtain a DNS server address automatically, which means everytime you connect to the router the dhcp will give you an ip address , so no clashes should occur.

      let me know how it goes

    • profile image

      Ryan Moroz 

      9 years ago

      I am having trouble connecting my laptop to my desktop using a wireless router. It keeps saying that the IP is invalid, could you please give me a step by step process to setting it up?


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